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Bit Of Exercise And Few Thousand Of Steps Can Plump Up Your Brain Functioning, Says New Study

According to recent studies, engaging in some exercise may help your brain grow. The study, which looked at brain scans of over 10,000 people and was published last month in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, discovered that even a small amount of exercise—a few thousand steps a day—might be linked to a greater brain volume.

The volume of our brains is correlated with their health; a decrease in mass may signal a cognitive impairment or perhaps be the precursor to dementia. Thus, researchers hypothesise that there may be “potential neuroprotective effects” from preserving or even increasing brain mass.

“We discovered that even moderate levels of physical activity, like clocking up fewer than 4,000 steps a day, can have a positive impact on brain health,” said Dr David Merrill, study co-author and director of the Pacific Neuroscience Institute’s Brain Health Centre, in a statement. “That’s considerably less than the often-touted 10,000 steps, making it a more achievable goal for many.”

The 10,125 participants, whose average age was 52, had whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to determine how much exercise they were getting in relation to their brain volume.

People who exercised for at least ten minutes, whether it was by walking, running, or sports, and classified as moderate to vigorous had more grey matter in important areas such as the occipital, frontal, and parietal lobes, as well as the hippocampus, which is the centre of memory.

The consultant general physician at Yashoda Hospitals in Hyderabad, Dr. Sri Karan Uddesh Tanugula, clarified that physical activity improves blood flow to the brain, supplying it with more oxygen and nutrients to promote cognitive performance.

“It also stimulates the release of chemicals like neurotransmitters and growth factors, promoting the growth of new neurons and enhancing overall brain connectivity. Exercise is also associated with reduced inflammation and improved mood, contributing to a healthier brain,” he tells in an interaction.

Dr. Dilip Gude, senior consultant physician at Yashoda Hospitals in Hyderabad, states that moderate exercise, for 45 minutes a day, is known to improve judgement, problem-solving abilities, and memory. He continued, “Exercise is also known to improve emotional balance, mitigating depression, anxiety, etc.”

But Dr. Gude cautioned that strenuous exercise is known to have a deleterious effect on brain health, particularly memory.

It’s crucial to adhere to general recommendations to guarantee that you’re exercising in moderation without going above and beyond. According to Dr. Tanugula, these:
Aim for 150 minutes or more per week of moderate-to-intense aerobic exercise or 75 minutes or more of strenuous exercise, plus two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities.
Pay attention to your body, build up your intensity gradually, and mix things up in your routine.
Prioritise appropriate cool-down exercises, including stretching, after working out to avoid getting hurt.
Rest, nourishment, and proper hydration are essential for recuperation and general health.

Seek advice from a medical professional or fitness specialist to customise a programme according to your unique requirements and current state of health.

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